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Castle ruins with surroundings - Zabytek.pl


woj. małopolskie, pow. olkuski, gm. Klucze-gmina wiejska

The castle ruins constitute a clear illustration of the evolution of military architecture, and due to their location on the so-called route of eagle nests, they are a valuable element of the cultural landscape of the region.

The castle hill is a memorial site associated with the military activities of the Polish Legions of Józef Piłsudski.


In the light of the information contained in medieval written sources and on the basis of archaeological research from 1989, it shall be assumed that the castle served as a magnate defensive residence. Castrum Bydlin, or fortalicium Załęże, have been present in numerous references since 1389. The castle was probably founded by Niemierza, Strzała coat of arms, or his father, Pełka. In the late 15th century, Bydlin became property of the Brzezicki family, and then the Szczepanowski family, and the Boner family. In the second half of the 16th century, the knight castle in Bydlin was converted by Jan Firlej into an Aryan church. In the end of the 16th century, the next owner of the village, Mikołaj Firlej, converted the former fortified residence and transformed the Aryan church into a Catholic church of the Holy Cross. The conversion consisted in the construction, halfway of the rectangular interior, of a rood wall which separated the chancel from the nave. From the west, a narrow space was separated - a type of a porch, and a new entrance was made at the churchyard level. The windows on this side were bricked-up. During the "Swedish Deluge" in the 17th century, the church was burned down. From the time of construction in Bydlin of a wooden parish church in mid-18th century, the church of the Holy Cross had gradually lost its function and fell into disrepair. During the World War I, legionaries of Józef Piłsudski entrenched themselves on the castle hill in Bydlin, and from there, on 17.11.2014, they started towards Załęże and fought a battle with Russians near Krzywopłoty (46 legionaries are buried at the church cemetery).


The castle ruins are located on the top of a lime hill situated on the northern edge of the village of Bydlin. Archaeological and architectural findings have shown that the defensive and residential complex comprised a high house built on a rectangular floor plan (11.4 x 24 m, wall thickness 2.3 m), from the local lime. The building was buttressed in the corners, and it was protected from the north by a steep slope and swamp at the foot of the hill. The castle had at least 3 storeys with 2 rooms at each of them. The entrance was located from the south, on the axis of the façade, at the height of 2.5 m from the yard level, which suggests that a wooden bridge once existed there. At the 2nd stage of the construction, probably still in the end of the 14th century, peripheral walls with a gate house in the north-eastern part were added, separating the yard from the south. The whole complex was circumscribed by a moat and an earthen rampart.

The surviving ruins are 7-8 metres high. In the walls, at the ground floor level which was used as a basement, small window openings have been preserved. In the eastern part, at the first floor level, 2 vaulted window openings have survived. The preserved offset in the walls, resulting from a change in the wall thickness shows that the interior was divided into 2 rooms. Also peripheral walls and the gate at the hill edge have been preserved, as well as trenches of the legionaries from 1914.

In the course of archaeological examinations, rich archaeological material dated to 15th/16th century was found: stone floor, pottery and tile ceramics, and coins.

The monument is accessible.

compiled by Tomasz Woźniak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Krakow, 04-09-2015.


  • Decyzja nr A-77/M w sprawie wpisania dobra kultury do rejestru zabytków nieruchomych województwa małopolskiego z dnia 02-03-2007 r., MWKZ Kraków
  • Dziechciarz O., Przewodnik po ziemi olkuskiej. Gminy Klucze i Pilica, t. II, Olkusz 2000
  • Kajzer L., Kołodziejski S., Salm J., Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Warszawa 2012
  • Kiryk F., Zarys dziejów osadnictwa, [w:] Dzieje Olkusza i regionu olkuskiego, t. I, Warszawa - Kraków 1978
  • Krasnowolski B., Leksykon zabytków architektury Małopolski, Warszawa 2013

Category: castle

Building material:  kamienne

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_12_BK.183572, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_12_BK.403000